Here is how you can get involved!
SPREAD THE WORD
Visit local restaurants and ask them to change their policy. Download our table cards for restaurants to display so they can educate their customers on going strawless.
WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT STRAWS?
Straws seem so small! How could they possibly cause much of a problem? This is one of the reasons they are an issue for our oceans. It's true there are lots of of other types of plastics that create ocean debris, but reducing single-use plastic straws is an easy way we can all make a difference today!
STRAWS ARE NOT RECYCLEABLE
Because they are so small, straws get caught up in the plastic shredding mechanisms of the recycling equipment and cause problems. The City of San Diego does not currently accept plastic straws in roadside recycling bins. This means that every straw ever created still exists somewhere today!
WE USE 500 MILLION SINGLE-USE PLASTIC STRAWS IN THE US EVERY DAY.
500 Million Per Day!? That's almost 6,000 straws per minute! If every San Diego citizen used one less straw per day (less than the national average use per person) then we would create 7,800 pounds less plastic in San Diego EVERY DAY! Wow! ** We did our own math on this. Each straw is about 0.006 lbs multiplied by 1.3 million SD residents (we didn't even include all of SD County) equals 7,800 lbs a day. I know, we were surprised too! We had to check our math several times!
STRAWS ARE AMONG THE TOP 10 MARINE DEBRIS ITEMS.
Along with plastic bags, food wrappers and plastic bottles, straws are one of the most common items collected during beach clean ups according to the EPA. This plastic debris is growing every year. Straws are number 5 on the list of items found during beach cleanups according to the EPA and Ocean Conservancy.
STRAWS DON'T BIODEGRADE. THEY BREAKDOWN INTO MICROPLASTICS.
Straws are made of polypropylene - plastic #5, which means that they don't biodegrade. They photodegrade instead. This means they break down in the sunlight into smaller bits called microplastics. These microplastics look like bits of algae or fish eggs (so food) to birds, fish, turtles and marine mammals. According to some researchers, 90% of seabirds, 50% of sea turtles, 31% of whales and dolphin, and up to 36% of fish are found to have ingested plastic in some form.
THE PLASTIC IN STRAWS ABSORB CHEMICAL TOXINS,
PASSING THEM ON TO THE ANIMALS THAT EAT THEM.
According to One Green Planet, microplastics made of polypropylene are like tiny, plastic toxin-sponges. They absorb chemicals in the ocean caused by industrial and agricultural pollution. This means that animals eating microplastics get a megadose of toxins! These toxins increase in concentration as they are passed up the food chain. This means that animals at the top of the food chain consume greater concentrations of toxins.
IF WE DON'T ACT NOW, BY 2050 THERE WILL BE MORE PLASTIC IN THE OCEAN THAN FISH.
According to the World Economic Forum plastic pollution is a growing problem. More and more plastic is ending up in the ocean each year. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a giant floating mass of plastic the size of the state of Texas made primarily of plastic. If we don't begin to change our habits and reduce our dependence on plastic, by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish. That's crazy!